Monday, February 23, 2009
This is my personal biggest toss up of the Fantasy Offseason. I have to keep three starters between Sabathia, Haren and Lackey with CC being a lock. Thus, I have a month to figure out whether I like Haren or Lackey better. You can vote on the sidebar if you want.
The Fantasy Rankings
CBS ranks Dan Haren at 46 and John Lackey at 66.
Yahoo Big Board has Haren On the Bubble and Lackey out of the tournament
ESPN has Haren at 40 and Lackey at 46.
Haren wins in every ranking but only by a little margin.
Dan Haren: 3.59 ERA, 14-10, 210 IP, 174 Ks, 1.20 WHIP
John Lackey: 3.81 ERA, 11-9, 175 IP, 141 Ks, 1.29 WHIP
The Projections are incredibly in the favor of Haren, but still a little bit blah for both. Lackey's numbers are brought down by the projection that he will only 26 starts in comparison to 32 for Haren.
The Diamondbacks roster is all about youth and potential. Stephen Drew, Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Conor Jackson will all be relied upon heavily and each will need to to increase their historic numbers if the Diamondbacks want to have a potent lineup.
The Angels roster is seemingly consistent, always good but never a powerhouse. The addition of Bobby Abreu should help their offense as he is an upgrade over the aging Garrett Anderson, but does that make up for Vlad's diminishing performances? Probably not.
Haren's #1 questionmark is his endurance throughout the entire season. Just look at his career splits, he's 100 times better before the All Star Break than after it. Can he break the trend?
Lackey made 32+ starts in five seasons and 27 between Triple A and LAA last season so I don't think his questionmark is health. The biggest issue is his diminishing K rate which is on a 4 season decline while Haren's is on a 4 year up swing.
Right now I'm leaning heavily towards keeping Haren. First off Haren's division and league is littered with worse opponents. His ERA will likely be lower than Lackey's as a result. Lackey's offense should be better than Haren's but picking a pitcher based on projected wins is a crap shoot. Meanwhile, Lackey's diminishing K rate is a major concern and Haren seemingly is much more like to post 200 Ks.
For all these reasons it looks like Dan Haren will be staying on my roster come April 1st.